Nov. 1, 2010
Will Pollster PPP Strategically Try To Prop Up Manchin Again?
Campaign 2010 Analysis: The Raese/Manchin U.S. Senate Contest

By Staff
Having both former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and rock legend Ted Nugent in state over the weekend has created some serious ripples, including one from the Manchin campaign.
In response to the overflow crowd of 2,700+ at Charleston's Haddad Riverfront Park for Republican U.S. Senate candidate John Raese this past Saturday, the Manchin staff hastily announced that former President Bill Clinton would return to campaign for Manchin on Monday, this time in Beckley.
Still, Raese has one more rabbit to pull from his brown Stetson in the form of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who will campaign with Raese in Harrison and Marion Counties, also on Monday.
So what's left for Manchin to do in this elaborate game of political chess?
"Well, despite the obvious gains Raese has made over the weekend with this blowout publicity from the Nugent/Palin rally in Charleston, I think we know the Manchin campaign well enough to know that they have no fear of insulting the voters' intelligence," said Jack Ellis, HNN's Senior Political Analyst. "So I am willing to predict here today that the Manchin campaign's unofficial pollster, PPP, will try to tell us that the Governor is still ahead one more time on Monday."
"Many people believe that PPP was a Manchin plant all along, and it's easy to see why," said Ellis. "Except in their first poll that showed Raese ahead by 3 points, every poll they've released since then has shown Manchin way ahead--even when every other poll being done showed Raese winning or a tie ballgame. It does seem a little fishy, doesn't it?"
"PPP is a Democratic pollster out of North Carolina, and nobody has been able to explain to me what stake they would have in a West Virginia U.S. Senate race unless they were working for the Democratic candidate or the Democratic Party somehow," said Ellis. "Polling costs money, and polling companies don't lay out the expense to cover a race like this without a good reason. So why are they here?"
"Just as we've experienced on several Fridays this campaign season, now we await the last toot out of PPP, a polling company nobody had ever heard of in West Virginia until this year," said Ellis. "But it really doesn't matter what their results are, because we know that they are going to be pro-Manchin and have little to do with where things really stand. PPP appears to be here to show the Democratic base that Joe is viable, that's all."
"I've learned, as many already have, to just disregard PPP's claims," said Ellis. "They're almost as questionable as Curt Wilkerson's polls."

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